(11) Wake Forest 91

(19-6, 9-5 ACC)

Maryland 83

(14-11, 5-9 ACC)

    1:00 PM ET, February 28, 2004

    XFINITY Center, College Park, Maryland

    1 2 T
    #11WAKE 46 4591
    MD 34 4983

    Terps fall into tie for seventh in ACC

    COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- If Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser had a vote on the NCAA tournament selection committee, Maryland would have an excellent chance of getting in.

    On Saturday, however, Prosser and his team severely damaged the Terrapins' chances of extending their school-record run of NCAA tournament appearances to 11.

    Vytas Danelius scored a career-high 23 points, and No. 11 Wake Forest held off a spirited Maryland comeback in a 91-83 victory.

    It was the sixth straight win for the Demon Deacons, who clinched at least a tie for third place in the Atlantic Coast Conference by winning at Maryland for the first time in six tries since 1998.

    John Gilchrist led Maryland (14-11, 5-9) with 26 points, Nik Caner-Medley scored 20 and Chris McCray added 18. The Terrapins, who fell into a tie for seventh place in the nine-team ACC, need a whirlwind finish to qualify for the NCAA tournament.

    "I think Maryland played well and is an NCAA level team," Prosser said. "Look at who they beat and who they've lost to. When you play teams of this caliber in our conference, they're going to bring out the best in you."

    Justin Gray scored 22 points and Jamaal Levy had 14 points and 15 rebounds for Wake Forest (19-6, 9-5), which held on after letting a 16-point lead shrink to two midway through the second half.

    "We've got two games left, and we probably have to win both to get in," Maryland coach Gary Williams said.

    That means the Terrapins must win at No. 14 North Carolina State on Wednesday and beat Virginia at home on Sunday.

    "Our backs are against the wall, but that's the way I like it," Gilchrist said. "I've been an underdog my whole career; it's nothing new for me."

    Jamar Smith, Maryland's only senior, endured his worst college game. Starting for the 25th time this season, he finished with no points and no rebounds in just 8 minutes.

    Faced with the prospect of clinching its first losing season in the ACC since 1992-93, Maryland did not go quietly. Down 57-41 with 16:52 left, the Terrapins used a 19-7 run to close to 64-62.

    Levy then scored inside and Taron Downey followed with a 3-pointer to make it 69-62, and minutes later Danelius and Downey hit 3s to give the Demon Deacons an 11-point cushion with five minutes left.

    "I'm certainly proud of our players. We know what was at stake for Maryland today," Prosser said. "At times it seemed we were trying to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Somehow we were fortunate enough to persevere."

    Said Williams: "We played well when we got behind, but that gets old. We've done that quite a few times this year."

    Wake Forest had 22 turnovers, but made a season-high 13 3-pointers on 23 attempts. Gray went 5-for-9 and Danelius was 4-for-7 from beyond the arc.

    "Perhaps earlier in the year we might not have responded as well, especially against a team of this caliber," Prosser said. "We made some big shots and cold-blooded 3s."

    The Demon Deacons never trailed after a 10-0 run propelled them to a 46-34 halftime lead. It was 30-all before Downey and Chris Paul hit successive 3-pointers and Levy followed with a putback and a driving layup to make it 40-30.

    After making 10 of its first 14 shots, Maryland ended the half with a 2-for-12 performance from the field.

    The Terrapins trailed 23-15 before McCray scored seven points in an 11-2 run that thrust Maryland into the lead for the last time. Wake Forest had five turnovers during the span.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    2003-04 Season

    Jan 29, 2004 @WAKE 93, MD 85Recap
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    Mar 12, 2004 MD 87, @WAKE 86Recap